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Julius Berger Nigeria Gains on Power Plant Bid: Lagos Mover

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the country’s largest construction company by market value, gained for the first time in seven days after it was shortlisted among companies to buy state-owned power utilities.

The stock gained 4.7 percent to to 28.80 naira at the close in Lagos, its first rise since Sept. 10. The shares have fallen 8.9 percent this year, compared with a 23 percent rise in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

Julius Berger, a unit of Germany’s Bilfinger Berger AG, and seven other companies were cleared to seek stakes in five power plants while 19 companies are vying for 10 distribution companies, Abuja-based Bureau of Public Enterprises, Nigeria’s privatization agency, said today in e-mailed statement.

“In a fair competition we expect Julius Berger to win one of the plants because of their track record,” Raheem Mohammed, chief operating officer of Lagos-based Kundila Finance Ltd., said by phone today. “This will impact positively on their stock.”

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, is selling majority stakes in 17 power generation and distribution companies spun out of the former state utility, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, as it seeks private investment to curb power shortages. Manitoba Hydro Electric Board of Canada signed a contract on July 23 to run the state-owned Transmission Co. of Nigeria, a deal that marked the start of a market-driven electricity industry in the West African nation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Nwanma in Lagos at vnwanma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net

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